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How long does it take to build a house?

Every year I am blessed to go fishing for a week in Canada. The lake we have been going to for 25 years is still as pristine as the first time I went in 1987. Given the topography, the remoteness, and the environmental laws, there are new houses that pop up but they are far between.

Anyway, in one bay we fish frequently, there is a house being built that sits up on a hillside in the woods with a spectacular view. It has been under construction for about six years so far and it seems there is still a ways to go. On the other end of where we fish, about 5 or 6 miles around a corner or two is another house that was started about 2 years ago and is basically finished. This one sits beautifully up on a rock ledge and required quite a bit of effort just to make the area buildable.

6 years…not finished…2 years…more difficult spot…basically finished. So whats the difference?

Each “builder” has essentially the same working season…given the climate and access (hard to get to in the winter), I would guess its about 7 months in the year, give or take a month. In each case these are second homes. In the case of the 6 year house, it is basically being built by one guy, whereas the faster home obviously employed several hands to make it happen.

We can speculate on all the reasons for this, from resources, ability, need, desire, urgency, life situations, etc. The real lesson here is that each of these represents a DREAM that these people are committed to.

I asked a friend of mine who has been in the construction world for 35 years, out of curiosity, how long would it take to build MY house, in man hours. he came up with a highly detailed break-down that showed it would take roughly 2200 man hours from prepping the lot to the finished house based on modern equipment.

So with the right amount of resources and all the available man hours (crews) and timing of how things come together, a focused expedient effort would result in a finished product in about 4 months.

If it was one person essentially building my home part time, say in an hour a day…well it would take seven years.

This is how it is with dreams. The key is to commit what you can to building the thing of your dreams. In my business, I went full out from day one with a total commitment and no fall back and through working 15 hour days to start, I was able to build in a year what takes someone part time to build in 5 to 8 years depending on what the part time effort consists of.

The key thing is not how long it takes…its the commitment. Whatever is in your heart to do, begin it. Set aside whatever time and resources you can and be consistent. Success is not a mystery. Small steps (in my work I call this The Process) repeated are the key to doing great things and accomplishing big dreams.



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